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Where I’ve been

October 4th, 2011

The title of this post is a bit of a misnomer. See, I’ve mostly been right here, where I always am. But got hacked a month or two ago, and my posts haven’t been working in google or feed readers. Apparently.

Given that quite a few of you have emailed since I fixed it yesterday afternoon, I think we’re back in business.

If you see any links or content directing you to download Microsoft Windows for free, you can be guaranteed I didn’t post that. Ugh.

At this same time, I’ve been in a place of radio silence. Some times the words just fly out of my fingers. At other times, I self-censor, knowing that what I’m bound to write is just going to be self-pitying drivel.

Now is probably one of those times.

I spent the last week traveling. Vogue Knitting LA, Santa Barbara for a great Cloud Chaser class, and then on to St. Charles to help mom out around the house.

VK LA was awesome. I know a lot of you have heard mixed reviews, but I thoroughly enjoyed teaching my classes, and the support I felt from the staff. I taught three sessions of photography and one Noro design class, and had a blast, even though I worked almost every free moment.

I also (finally) had a chance to meet some of the shops I love on the west coast! I did a book / pattern signing in the “Knitting with Sandra” booth one afternoon, and also really enjoyed my time with the gals at “Cardigans” in Santa Barbara.

There’s a different type of energy I get from teaching that I rarely feel anywhere else. I love those light-bulb moments, and I love interacting with new people in that kind of setting.

It’s funny, because I think I’m naturally pretty shy. But I rarely feel more comfortable than I do when teaching.

So. Mom update.

She had her first round of chemo last Monday and initially felt ok. The prednisone helped her energy levels while I was there. So, I stripped wallpaper, cleaned baseboards, and ran errands. We went over to her friends’ house, bought her a snazzy wig, and caught up with the X factor.

It was a quieter visit than most; even feeling fine, she wasn’t up to much shopping or running around. After I came back to Toronto on Saturday, she started to feel more of the fatigue that often accompanies chemo. She’s ok at times, at others, needs to sit down immediately. But I think, overall, she’s doing better than she expected to at this point.

Interesting development on her lymphoma. It turns out, she actually has a different type of lymphoma – a slow-moving nodal marginal zone lymphoma – that has progressed into the aggressive diffuse large B-cell type. This is pretty rare – less than 1% of patients with non-hodgkins lymphoma have this type. Unfortunately, the marginal zone lymphoma does not tend to respond well to treatment and also tends to recur more quickly and more aggressively.

I spoke with the oncologist yesterday, and he said that we’re still hoping for a complete remission after chemo, but that may only last for a year or two before it recurs. Second treatments are limited at her age.

The really great thing is how mom is doing with all of this. She’s a tough cookie, and she has a really strong faith. She’s put it in God’s hands, and isn’t asking the same questions I am.

It’s interesting, how different we are. I like to have as many facts as possible – give me the data, even if it’s grim. Mom? She just likes to think one step at a time.

The step, for now, is the five more rounds of chemo. She will lose her hair, probably after the next treatment on the 17th. After the treatments wrap up, we’ll have two months to wait to see what kind of remission was attained.

I’m disappointed that it’s so less treatable than what I initially understood. The odds aren’t good here, but on the other hand, because it’s so rare, there’s just not a lot of data.

Understandably, I have a lot of anger about all of this. I’m mad. And I’m probably in shock that our family has to go through this right now, so soon after all the trauma with my Dad.

At the same time, it’s probably not surprising that I’ve given myself an acid reflux disorder. The last two nights, it’s been so bad when I went to bed that I’ve gotten up almost instantly to throw up repeatedly.

Sandra’s now got me on a bland diet (or so she thinks), and has forbidden (or so she thinks) diet coke, coffee, wine, chocolate, cheese (except goat), marbled meat, butter, tomatoes, salsa, hot peppers… you know… basically everything I love to eat and drink.



You probably know that I love to cook, and I love to create in the kitchen. And I’m just not inspired by a diet of white foods.

I joked to Sandra last night that I’m just going to have to live off of sushi. And she said “NO WASABI”.


I’m (understandably) feeling really overwhelmed with the business of life right now. We’ve suddenly got a squirrel living in our roof, and damned if I know what to do about any of that.

So, I’m just putting one foot in front of the other. And focusing on what I have control over, and trying to let go of my worries.

An Advanced Class in Picking Up Stitches

June 2nd, 2011

You probably have realized I like to design a lot of items that get knit in multiple directions. Elsewhere. Watershed. Cloud Chaser. You get the picture. Some of the time, it’s extremely important to pick up the “right” number of stitches. For example, when working the front panels of Cloud Chaser, one must pick up […]

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too much

June 15th, 2010

My current stress level is off the scales. Chalk it up to worry and a lack of adequate sleep for several nights. Chalk it up to just too much on my plate. I thought 2010 was going to be my year of ‘getting it all together’, but right now, it just feels like it’s the […]

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